[dropcap]A[/dropcap] ground swell of disapproval among key stakeholders in the oil and gas industry and some members of the Federal Executive Council FEC is building over the continue stay in office of Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
Per Second News gathered that some die-hard members of the group are even threatening to embarrass the Minister with an excruciating fuel scarcity in the days ahead to force him to throw in the towel.
Impeccable sources familiar with the intrigues that has played out in the wake of the bogus NNPC $25bn contract award controversy say that the leadership of all the industry unions in the sector are moving in unanimity to ensure that the embattled Minister resigns or is removed from office especially on the hills of the definite and credible explanation by the Presidency which cleared the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation of wrong doing as alleged by the Minister.
The group contends that with the point- to- point clarification provided by the Presidency which undoubtedly cleared the air and indicted Kachikwu as a rabble- rouser, the Minister has lost all moral and credible integrity to lead or supervise the oil and gas industry as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
In a position paper dispatched to the Presidency recently after its widely publicized Press Release on the issue, the leadership of NARTO, the umbrella association of all the owners of fuel tankers in the country, chided Kachikwu for what it termed immature attitude.
‘’We would like to reiterate that the comment made by the Hon. Minister were an act of immaturity and an indirect affront on the personality of President Muhammadu Buhari who is the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources. It is absolutely ridiculous for him to say that he could not have access to the President even though he is a Cabinet Minister serving in the same Ministry where the President is the substantive Minister,’’ NARTO Stated in the document signed by Alhaji (Dr.) Kassim Ibrahim Bataiya its National President.
NARTO urged Kachikwu to take the exit door since his loyalty to his boss and the country can no longer be guaranteed. This position is also in direct alignment with that of their employees, the tanker drivers association which many in the industry describe as the militant arm of the oil industry unions due to an age long aggressive approach to settlement of dispute. In its submission, the tanker drivers urged the President to drop the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources from his cabinet while describing Kachikwu as lacking in competence and good faith.
Sources close to the leadership of the tanker drivers say that the group is moving for total shutdown to press home their demand for Kachikwu’s resignation ahead of a planned meeting of downstream stakeholders early next week which is designed to fine-tune strategy to push for the eventual resignation of the embattled minister.
It was also learnt that faced with mounting opposition against his stay in office, Kachikwu is making desperate effort to keep his job and recently called for meeting with industry stakeholders which was overwhelmingly rebuffed .
The oil industry stakeholders consists of the leadership of the National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, PENGASSAN, the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMA as well as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN.